Setting up the right “feeding environment” is vital when preparing your toddler to eat and drink.
Here are 5 tips on how you can set up the right “feeding environment”:
1. Make sure distractions like the TV and music are turned off. This will ensure your child remains focused on the task at hand- eating and drinking!
2. Make sure your child is comfortable and positioned upright in their high chair. When a child is comfortable, they are more likely to start eating and drinking.
3. Don’t feed your child too quickly. Just as you like to give yourself breaks between mouthfuls of food, your child also enjoys a break every so often.
4. Don’t wipe your child’s face after every spoonful of food. By not wiping away the food, you are allowing them to get used to the sensation of food on their face.
5. Eat as a family. With the whole family eating together, you can provide a model for how to eat.
Your child also learns about the social aspect of eating.
As a parent, you may have concerns about your child’s feeding, for example:
“My child only eats certain foods”
“My child is gagging after food is put into their mouth”
"My child is having difficulty chewing food”
“My child is having difficulty drinking from a cup without spilling”
Speech pathologists are specifically trained in how to manage children with feeding difficulties. If you are concerned about your child’s feeding difficulties, give Childthink a call, they would love to help your child.
The speech pathologists will provide a thorough assessment, and use specific strategies to assist your child.
Amelia Laurendet (Student Speech Pathologist)